07-25-20 5:51  •  1619 Project

Den: What is the "1619 Project"? I've heard they want to move America's birthday from 1776 to 1619! What is this about?

Originally the tobacco fields were worked by indentured servants. At first this suited the elites because the work was so brutal most of the workers died before they could collect their due. However as living conditions in the settlements improved, more indentured servants survived to the end of their servitude. This meant that, not only did the elites always need new servants, but also that there were many former servants starting to become restive.

On August 20, in 1619, the first African slaves were sold in what would become the U.S. A boat shipwrecked with captive Africans aboard and hyped them as laborers, trading about 20 of them for food. Originally the Africans were indentured servants, too, with limited terms. But as cash crops like sugar and cotton required more and more labor, a racial caste system developed where Africans were increasingly held for life, as were their children.

This caste system solidified in response to Bacon's Rebellion. White and black indentured servants were barely clinging to survival and joined together to confront their overlords, the colonial elites. The rebellion was put down, and it was decided that the white poor would be less restive if there was a permanent black underclass with even worse conditions. New laws making African servitude lifelong and preventing marriage between the races cemented the apartheid.

There is nothing wrong with making sure more people know the precise roots of institutionalized slavery in North America. I don't think anyone is recommending we move the fireworks to August 20. But the original 1619 incident did as much to shape this continent as many other important dates we remember from American history.

Jen: But, Senator Cotton wants to withhold federal money from schools that teach this program. He even said that slavery was a necessary evil! He's the evil one.

Smise: He never said that! Leave it to liberals to misinterpret a simple sentence. He said the Founding Fathers said that. Typical.

Cotton's basic premise is incorrect. There is no reason to withhold funds from schools that teach the 1619 project. More people should know about what happened in 1619 and why it was significant.

Here is Cotton's really stupid quote, calling the 1619 Project "a racially divisive, revisionist account of history that denies the noble principles of freedom and equality on which our nation was founded. Not a single cent of federal funding should go to indoctrinate young Americans with this left-wing garbage."

Acknowledging the truth about slavery as the linchpin of North American economics is not racially divisive, it is a step in the right direction. The events took place as described; revealing it is not revisionist or "left-wing." The project highlights the yawning chasm between America's stated principles of freedom and equality and actual American behavior throughout our history. Only with this knowledge can people appreciate how much progress we have made in closing that gap and how much work still remains.

"Indoctrination" just means teaching information that is valued by your political opponents. The information is true and important and should be taught.

07-24-20 5:51  •  Fuck Ups

Carrie: I'm so glad my parents raised me right! They raised me to know the importance of a good education so I could have a good career. They raised me to know that having a healthy savings was important so you never had to worry.

I cant imagine having no drive in life. I feel bad for all of those people who had bad parents that didnt teach them they deserve the best in life. I feel bad for those kids born to "mothers" who cant support themselves or their kids.

I'm glad my parents raised me with pride! I feel bad for so many people who had crappy parents. There are so many f**k ups out there that will never accomplish anything in life.

LiveLove: I am so glad that my parents raised me with humility & empathy!

Carrie: They raised me to have those traits also. If they didn't I wouldn't feel bad for others.

Yeah, those f**k ups.

Carrie: Are you trying to pretend there aren't f**k ups in the world?

I'm saying that you don't radiate humility and empathy by referring to those less fortunate as f**k ups. These are our brothers and sisters.

Carrie: I never said people on poverty are f**k ups. Just that there are a lot of f**k ups out there.

You are just a much of a f**k up as every other human being. No one is excepted from imperfection.

The problem is that we have constructed our society so that it can be extremely difficult to recover from mistakes. We want to punish the f**k ups, especially those that f**k up with money. Eat dirt, failure!

We should make it so that no matter how many times you f**k up you can't possibly land without a meal and shelter and a doctor and another chance. Then at least when people f**k up they won't take others down with them, and there would always be hope.

07-24-20 10:44  •  Trump Neighbor

Frieda: My new next-door neighbors seem like nice people, but they just put a Trump sign up on their lawn. I don't want to judge, but I admit I am less interested in being friends with them now.

Tellinya: That's pretty hypocritical for a liberal. Making sweeping assumptions about other people and writing them off for potential friendships before even getting to know them based solely on who they vote for. Voting for a particular person is not necessarily an endorsement of everything that person is.

In almost any other case you would have my complete agreement. However Trump is so extreme that supporting him is not a moderate position. Kids in cages, really? What political goals are worth that trade-off?

I think there are times when you can just see there is a fundamental difference in worldview which would lead to conflict. We might try to change others worldviews, but you can expect mixed results with next-door neighbors :-).

Tellinya: "Kids in cages?" That's from the expansion of the Flores act that happened under Obama. You'd know that if dud research.

This concerned me. Could I have been wrong in assuming this was Trump's doing? Of course. So thanks, Tellinya, for bringing this to my attention. I'm always glad to correct errors.

I have now done dud my research. What I learned is that Obama did, indeed, build the cages, and there were sometimes children in them under his presidency. HOWEVER, most of the children who came into federal custody in those days were unaccompanied minors who were housed only 72 hours before being placed with Health and Human Services. (Snopes)

Trump is responsible for the "zero tolerance" policy that led to family separations - that is, actively removing children from their parents. “Nothing like what the Trump administration is doing has occurred before,” Sarah Pierce of the Migration Policy Institute told The New York Times last year. (NYT)

What's more, Trump's crackdown policies led to massive overcrowding in the facilities. Lawmakers who toured reported unsafe and unsanitary conditions, and before this policy was relaxed, from April to June 2018, at least seven migrant children died in U.S. custody. (NBC News)

"Kids in cages" is shorthand for Trump's immigration policies which were cruel, inhumane and stupid. However I wish to be very clear. In the future I will refer to this as "family separation" so there will be no confusion.

As in, Family separation, really? Holding kids in filthy and inhumane conditions, really? Dead kids? What political goals are worth that trade-off?

Thanks so much, Tellinya!

07-23-20 1:27  •  Refusing to Walmart

Shopper: I refuse to stop and show my receipt at Walmart.

They are trying to scan every receipt now to "prevent theft". It makes a line near the door and it makes it impossible to social distance. I don't go on the shopping trip and intentionally make sure I'm away from people just to have to give up social distancing on my way out.

I've heard it can take up to 45 minutes!

When there is a line due to them checking receipts I just walk right past or go out the garden center doors. If someone asks me directly I say no thank you and keep walking.

BBS: Well, go on with your big, bad self! If you don't like it you should shop somewhere else.

Becka: You are either trash or a troll.

Pinkie Tuscadero: I refuse as well. I resent being treated like a thief.

The groceries are yours. You paid for them. No one has any right to interfere with you leaving a store with your property.

It's a "service"? Fine, I don't need it, thanks. Buh-bye.

Shopper: There is no other place within an hour's drive of where I live.

BBS: Sounds like you'll just have to suck it up then.

Walmart has no right to mess with people. None. Not one person in the 45 minute line HAS to be there. Why does anyone go along with this? I think avoiding the hassle is much smarter.

Various Walmarts I have shopped at over the years have drifted this policy in and out and I always say No thanks. I've received a few shocked looks and a "Wait! You have to..." and that's it. No, I don't have to, and once I am out of sight they just don't care.

BBS: I never have a problem social distancing at my Walmart.

It's not a social distancing issue. Who are they to stop you? Under what obligation are you to cooperate? Why bother? It doesn't help you. It doesn't even help them. It's security theater and a waste of time.

Refuse receipt checking! It's stupid and useless.

Shopper:. People have been really pissed off about this new change, especially since it's the only real option for food and groceries within an hour.

They should stop cooperating. Walmart cannot force or require compliance. Why is anyone doing it if they don't like it, I wonder?

BBS: Where are you living, 1812? Give me your zip code and I guarantee I can find you a different store close by.

Considering it's not 1812, it's surprising that the U.S. has so many 'food deserts,' where there are very limited choices. I'm sure there is a Dollar General around - they are the sole grocery provider in many rural areas - but their quality is crap and they have no fresh produce.

It's not inconceivable or surprising that Walmart is the only game in many towns.

Additionally, for many years Walmart was all we could afford. Every product was a buck more at the next store. It adds up.

"Free enterprise" has failed to provide competitive grocery availability in many areas. When people say that they have to shop at Walmart it's almost always true.

Walmart has also removed grocery profits from every local community. They have used their dominance of the retail supply chain to force suppliers to make their products worse. They pay employees crap and are guilty of systematic discrimination.

Walmart is a bad player, but many people can't pay $300 for groceries that only cost $200 at Walmart. Struggling Americans cannot afford to boycott them.

The very last thing you should do is give them more power by following their ridiculous little dictates. You have given them enough.

BBS: Rules are rules! You are not special.

I don't usually call people 'sheep' but the pimply teen at the door has no authority to detain shoppers. They can leave at any time. If they have personal possessions - like their newly purchased groceries - they can take those with them.

I can't believe anyone would let themselves be accosted. Just go!

Becka: Wal-Mart has always done that. There's no shortage of low lives looking to steal and it's a big store with lots of opportunity for doing so. They don't know me, so they have no idea what my character truly is.

That is entirely their problem. We are under no obligation to help them with that. They should treat every customer as a person of upstanding character unless they have probable cause to think otherwise.

Save yourself a step and don't bother. It's not helping them or you.

07-22-20 6:44  •  Why Vote for Biden

Kenner: I won't be voting for either candidate. I don't like Trump but there is no reason to vote for Biden either.

Reasons to vote for Biden:

1) It's okay to vote 'against Trump.' He is the worst problem in the world right now. An empty suit would be better.

2) Biden is experienced. He knows how to activate the government to respond to emergencies.

3) Biden is respected on the world stage. He will restore the ability of the U.S. to work with other nations.

4) Biden is a moderate. He will not enact scary socialism. 99% of his job will be fixing everything Trump broke and he can do that.

5) Biden will act on climate change.

RHoA: Biden, a moderate? WRONG.

I hope so.


He supports tax payer funded abortion on demand through birth.
support for the green new deal
Outlaw Gas-Powered Cars
strict unconstitutional gun bans/Control
open borders
medicaid and all welfare access for illegals
full welfare benefit for illegals
amnesty for 22 million illegals
"free" college
suspending all deportations
hes also going back and forth on defunding the police

That is 2100. An open world. The sooner we face it, the more likely we are to make it there.

The alternative is the status quo. Which is not working on any level.

07-11-20 11:07  •  Who Knows More About God

Emma: Everybody (even those that never have a personal revelation) knows what you might call the basics of God.

Like what, exactly? Can you name a basic fact about gods?

Emma: Reason, logic, empathy...those are all instilled in us and are some of the aspects of God that are most easisly understood by the finite human mind.

The systems of Reason and Logic are fairly recent human inventions, so I would not agree that they are "instilled," except by the culture. Like mathematics, they have to be taught, and can produce wrong answers if not used correctly.

Empathy has a far more biological basis, and so I would agree it is "instilled" in that most people seem to be born with this capacity. It also has a biological explanation - proto-humans living on the edge of survival depended entirely on the group, and empathy is a powerful means of creating the sense that one's companions are as necessary to the self as the self. The trait was strongly selected for as a survival strategy.

So what is the god part?

Emma: I'm not sure. I have to admit, this is the first time I have really had to explain what I believe.

Explaining is a great way to further understanding, so I am glad to have provided you with this opportunity. Thanks so much for being in the discussion!

Demma: How can anyone claim to know more about "God" than anyone else?!

That's what religion is.

07-09-20 6:20  •  Defund the Rape Police

LoisLane: Keith Ellison, former Democrat National Committee vice chairman and current Minnesota attorney general, said he does not want police officers to respond to rape calls. The shocking policy suggestion occurred during a Zoom conversation featuring Ellison and Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) to discuss racism and police reforms. The dialogue was moderated by White House correspondent for “PBS NewsHour” Yamiche Alcindor.

Ellison stated: “If you’re a woman who’s been a victim of a sexual assault, and the assailant ran away, wouldn’t you rather talk to somebody who is trained in helping you deal with what you’re dealing with, as opossed to somebody whose main training is that they know how to use a firearm? Right?”


Orla: What gives him the right to speak for women!? More psychotic thinking from the left.

P.A.: I guess there isn't slime low enough that the left won't vote for.

There is nothing wrong with this. You could have trained and sympathetic first responders and that would in no way impede law enforcement.

P.A.: So the crisis counselor goes to the scene of the crime and muddies up the evidence, making the job of the investigator more difficult. Yeah, no.

There are plenty of people besides uniformed officers who belong and have jobs to do at a crime scene. How would having a first responder who is trained for this be different from bringing in other experts?

There is nothing 'ludicrous' or 'psychotic' about this suggestion. Not sure where the contempt for the idea is coming from.

I think we can agree that our criminal justice system needs more than just cops. That is what "defunding the police" is. Moving resources from uniformed officers to other kinds of social support systems. We need all these things.

P.A.: That's not what it's about. Defunding the police, moving money from the police dep't, means fewer and fewer cops.

Fewer cops would be fine if their duties were limited to where they can be effective. Right now cops have to be everywhere and do everything whenever there is a break in the social structure. They have to be psychologists and marriage counselors and dog catchers and social workers. Why not just have those people do that instead?

Moving some of society's resources to prevention would mean we need fewer cops. That is good for everyone including cops.

Lois Lane: Then that should be provided in addition, not instead of.

Lots of complains about police officers and how lousy they do their job... how do you think that will improve when they have be overworked and underpaid due to this defunding? And if you think there’s police corruption now, it will explode if cops have to work more hours for less pay and someone offers them a nice wad of cash to look the other way.

I don't think anyone is actually proposing that we overwork officers. I think they are looking at the battle gear and armored vehicles and expanding ranks and thinking that the money might be better spent taking care of people. Beefing up the police is an escalation of force.

We need to change what we expect from police officers and limit their duties to areas where a uniform with a gun is actually needed. That would leave plenty of resources to provide the other kinds of non-armed professionals who could be more helpful in the vast majority of situations. It would greatly reduce the complaints about how lousy cops do their job if they didn't have to do everyone else's.

Orla: The police would be outgunned.

No, by devoting more resources to timely social interventions, we would have fewer violent escalations. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

07-08-2020 5:52  •  Work, Work

Georgina: If you don't mind my asking, if you are American, what is your political affilation, and why?

On the American spectrum my political beliefs place me on the far left. I believe society should automatically provide all services and people should participate in the ways that interest them. I think production belongs to the people who produce it. I think we are stewards of a fragile system that we neglect at our peril. I think we must eliminate the practice of out-grouping. And I think we should be nice.

Viv: What happens when people aren't interested in participating/producing in any positive ways? .

There are very few people like this. Most non-participation is because of barriers. Remove the barriers and people will be unleashed.

Viv: I find your views very idealistic. Its not my personal experience that very few people are like this. However, removing barriers can be very helpful. I still believe a significant number of people will still be in this category no matter what.

How would that be a problem?

Viv: What do you mean??

The entire conservative project is tethered to the need to force everyone to work.

It's really not necessary. A small percentage of people doing something they love - farming - produces enough food for the entire population. Other people doing what they love produces our homes and hospitals. Work that no one wants to do will soon be cheaper by robot. Why force human toil when we already have so much more than we'll ever need?

We are working the planet to death and the last thing we need is to order our entire society around wrenching the most productivity from all. We need less work, not more.

Viv: How will it be a problem that a significant number of people will never want to have a productive/positive contribution, even if they have the ability to do so? At best, their impact on society is 0. Most often its negative. People aren't all inherently good until some "barrier" changes that.

People are mostly pretty good, and there is a lot we can do to help them be better. We could make sure people are healthy and have all the education they need. We can let people contribute in ways that they find worthwhile. We can make it easy for people to form groups that work together. We can have generous, reliable recompense for effort.

Most people who are healthy and educated want to help and grow. But what if, in spite of all the support we can offer, there are a few people who still want to miss out on all the fun? Well, that is their loss. They will not get in our way.

We cannot organize our entire society around making sure everyone works. For one, we don't need to. We have automation. For two, we are massively over-productive already, and burning through our natural resources many times faster than we need or ought. For three, if we stopped wasting time making sure no one gets away with goldbricking, we could do literally a million other things which are more significant and more fun.

Forcing noses into the grindstone is not important.

What is important is providing clean energy, allowing producers to own what they produce, and working together - everything else I mentioned. Thanks for letting me explain.

Read more in the Archives.